I wanted to send you a formal letter regarding the iPad that Variety gave my daughter, Gianna. It has made such a difference in her life. As you know, she just went through a very difficult surgery called jaw distraction. Jaw distraction entails breaking the jaw on both sides and placing a plate on each side. There are rods that are placed vertically and protrude from her skin at the top of her jaw. She was at Stanford’s Children’s Hospital PICU for 7 days and an extra 7 days in a hotel until the rods were cracked off (it was as bad as it sounds). During that time we had to place a tool on the protruding rod and twist it 3 times twice daily in order to distract her jaw and make it larger. Her surgeon was able to distract her jaw 20 mm! This enabled her to breath better due to the fact that she had severe sleep apnea and very small airways. She is also able to eat, smell and breath through her nose due to both surgeon’s expertise. Both her father and I are so glad that we chose the surgeons from California, but it was extremely stressful from a financial and emotional standpoint for our family. It is so incredible that you and your organization were able to help through this tumultuous time. Gia absolutely loves her new iPad. She just received a new hearing aid which has a streamer that she’s wears around her neck. She is able to hear her iPad streamed directly to her hearing aid! It’s incredible. I truly believe that I have seen a difference in the clarity of her speech since receiving her iPad. It was so generous of yourself and your organization to give this wonderful gift to my daughter. Thank you with all of my heart.
-Joe and Francine Bosco
My daughter has cerebral palsy. She has two younger siblings, and we are a very active and busy family. Twice now my daughter has been the recipient of mobility equipment; a standing frame and an adapted racing chair (for running and biking). She is able to participate in triathlons, road races, bike rides, walks, runs, and more right along with us as a family. Variety is awesome!
My son has special needs and Variety has helped me get him the tricycle that he wanted. Now he can play with the neighbor kids!! I have been involved with Variety a little over 2 years. They are great!!! What a great organization to be involved with!!! They far-exceed my expectations!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a special needs daughter (muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, brain tumors, osteoporosis and spina bifida occulta). When I was in need of a lift for her motor scooter because I can’t lift it and our van is not big enough, I looked online and found Variety! Our lives have been changed forever. Sometimes having special needs children you feel helpless, but after meeting Deb I have a whole new energy. Not only did they jump right on getting us the lift we needed for the van, Deb has shown us a love that no other has shown. Variety has provided us with many opportunities to be “normal” and go do “normal” things. Anytime I see a child or family struggling with a special needs child, I tell them all about Variety. There is no way I could ever repay Variety for the freedom they have given, except to share my story.
We are very grateful to Variety KC for the Walk-Aid they helped payed for. The Walk-Aid has made a huge difference in Kaleb’s life since he has received it, he has been able to purchase normal shoes, and is looking forward to starting basketball again this January. Thanks to everyone that has donated to this foundation and made a difference in our son’s life and others like him. This is a great organization who cares about the quality of life for children, and I appreciate them so much.
Variety delivers! As a member of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education, I’ve seen firsthand the wonderful impact this charity has on kids. Variety delivered dozens of wheelchairs to our Instructional Support Center…..our teachers were genuinely moved that a group remembered to help their students. And speaking of students, not only does this nonprofit directly affect children, it also provides volunteer opportunities for students. It was especially gratifying to listen to a Shawnee Mission student explain on a local newscast about the blessing she received in joining fellow high schoolers earn a special bike for a younger Shawnee Mission student.
Variety delivers in many ways….and it chooses to allow others to take the credit thereby enhancing the experience for all. The executive director Deb Wiebrecht keenly understands that leaders of organizations allow others to shine in order to sustain a successful program. In case you were wondering, she is the incredible, shining light guiding the noble efforts to help our kids. Thank you, Deb.
You never stop learning! Three years ago my first experience with Variety and the fantastic people devoting their time to help others, I came to understand how a little helping and caring can go so far. Seeing the smiles on faces of children helped by Variety helps us as individuals realize how fortunate we are then we can understand how a little caring can go so far.
Thad’s class is working on a project called “Genius Hour” in which they create a project to give back to others. He along with his friend Chase are creating a project to raise funds for Variety Children’s Charity. I had to share this email because it shows Thad’s genuine heart.
For our Genius hour project I talked to my mom about it and she thinks it is a great idea! We have been planing this for a long time, because when she was at the conferences Mrs. Powell told her that we were going to do Genius hour and that we could do anything for it, so I want to make this really BIG for Catie. We are going to raise as much money for this as possible. I was hoping to get the money after every weekend, because my mom then will give it to the owner of variety. I want to help out in anyway with variety and I bet you do to. And as much as this is important to me I bet it’s just as important to you. I know that this is going to be good for us and for Catie and that I will do anything to make this a success, and I know that you will to. I hope I don’t stress you out with the project and I hope you will enjoy it. Thank you for all your help and I hope this turns out to be a success!!!!
Here is a sweet letter one of Variety’s parents wrote to her child’s school on how to educate and inform others that we really are all the same.
Our son, Bryce, is a first grader this year. We are writing this letter because Bryce has achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) and we have found it is quite common for both children and adults to have questions about his condition. Even though your child may be older or younger than Bryce, they may meet on the playground, chapel or at another school event. Friends have found it helpful to have a little information. The following are a few basic facts about dwarfism:
· There are over 200 distinct types of dwarfism. Bryce has achondroplasia which is a bone growth disorder that affects the long bones of the arms and legs.
· Some dwarfism types are recessive (carried within the parents’ genes). Others are what are called “spontaneous mutations at conception”. Bryce’s form is not recessive. It was just a simple genetic mutation that occurred. We believe strongly that Bryce (as with all children) is created On Purpose and for a Great Purpose.
· There is not a “cure” for Bryce’s type of dwarfism.
· Over 80% of all people with dwarfism have average-height parents and siblings, as is our case.
· It is extremely rare to have cognitive deficiencies with dwarfism.
· Terminology: the word “midget” is not used anymore; it is a derogatory, slang word. When we use terms, we use “short-stature” or “having dwarfism”. Just as an individual who has a skin color different from ours would not want to be referred to by their skin color, nor does an individual who has a physical condition/disability want to be referred to by their diagnosis. The word “dwarf” is technically correct, although we rarely use it when speaking about Bryce. We believe he is a child of God first and foremost. His identity is in Christ, not in his diagnosis. Therefore, we just refer to him as Bryce!
As is true with all of us, God has entrusted us with many unique attributes. We are grateful to have already seen God’s hand over Bryce’s life. He has had many opportunities to impact the lives of others and the community because of his challenges. We rejoice in the unique opportunities God provides all of us to impact our world. We are looking forward to another amazing year at school. If you, or your children, have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.